MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Deondre Francois threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Nyqwan Murray with 36 seconds remaining, and No. 10 Florida State beat No. 6 Michigan 33-32 in a wild Orange Bowl on Friday night.
Francois threw for two scores — both to Murray — and ran for another for the Seminoles (10-3). They got 145 yards rushing from Dalvin Cook and recovered after wasting a 12-point lead midway through the fourth.
Chris Evans had a 30-yard touchdown run and Khalid Hill an 8-yard scoring catch in the final minutes for Michigan (10-3), which also got a defensive conversion when Josh Metellus ran a blocked extra point back after the second Francois-Murray TD.
But Michigan turned the ball over on its final possession, and the Seminoles held on to win a game where the teams combined for 23 points and two lead changes in the final 5:22.
“The character on this team,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. “I’ve said it before. I’m as proud of this team as any I’ve coached.”
Evans’ scoring run put the Wolverines up 30-27, but Florida State’s Keith Gavin swung momentum back to the Seminoles with a 66-yard kickoff return right up the middle — setting up the drive where his team would take the lead for good.
“Best game of my life,” Cook said.
Michigan played without injured star linebacker Jabrill Peppers, who was out with a hamstring injury, and lost tight end Jake Butt to a knee injury early in the second quarter. Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh said the early indications were that Butt has either an MCL or ACL injury.
“Really proud of the effort of our team,” Harbaugh said.
Wilton Speight was 21 for 38 passing for 163 yards for Michigan, which got a 14-yard interception return from Mike McCray for a touchdown. Francois completed his freshman season with a 9-for-27 night, but threw for 222 yards — including a 92-yarder to Murray early in the game when the Seminoles were rolling out to leads of 17-3 and 20-6.
“The offense in the first half, it was tough sledding,” Harbaugh said.
Florida State was in total control, but the game turned midway through the fourth when Trey Marshall was ejected for targeting on a punt return — giving Michigan a short field on which to start its comeback.
Marshall missed an amazing finish.
“This game here took so many turns,” Cook said. “But we kept fighting ... and things turned our way.”